History is made with decisive victory in the crusade to make NST smoke-free North Shore Towers Courier n November 2016 3 by Stephen Vratos “This was not a squeak; this was a mandate!” So asserted Board Member Phyllis Goldstein of the decisive vote for the amendment of the co-op’s proprietary lease to make North Shore Towers entirely smoke-free. Nearly 90% of all possible shares that could be cast were, an astonishing number when one stops to consider that the turn-out for last June’s Board election— the most contentious in years—was far below that margin. 3.9 million+ votes were needed to pass the smoke-free measure, which received an impressive 4.3 million+ votes, a clear indication of residents’ strong desire for the change. The Thursday, October 13, Town Hall meeting at Towers on the Green was the first public gathering presided over by new Board President Mario Carmiciano after the passing of former President Mort Gitter on August 26. Carmiciano announced the results of the historic amendment vote to a standing-roomonly audience, while the particulars were presented vibrantly on a screen to the left of the dais. He then acknowledged his predecessor, who held office at NST for 28 years, honoring Gitter’s commitment and devotion with a moment of silence. Carmiciano, who also Chairs the Capital Improvements Committee, announced the successful wrap-up of the cosmetic renovation of the indoor pool over the summer and the near completion of the garage conversion from fluorescent to LED lighting, before realizing he had yet to introduce his colleagues and other notables from management, security, et al. It was a minor fumble to an otherwise deftly handled meeting by the first-time overseer, who was warmly received by his constituents. Carmiciano then ceded the floor to Goldstein, who made her pronouncement. Goldstein and fellow Board Member Bob Ricken championed the effort to convert the co-op to smoke-free status, enlisting two “deputies” from each building to go door-to-door to ensure as many residents participated as possible. The results speak for themselves. “You wanted it and it passed,” she furthered. “Thank you!” With the results of the smoke-free amendment to the proprietary lease out of the way, the Town Hall progressed along more traditional avenues, with Committee Chairs updating residents on various projects and informing them on new endeavors, NST financials and other important information. GAP (Gym•Aerobics•Pool) Chair Goldstein reminded everyone that the newly completed indoor pool facelift was only the first phase. Phase 2 begins next summer, with renovation to the vaulted ceiling beams, marble dusting of the pool interior and new floor coating, among other improvements. Fitness classes on sabbatical over the summer have been reinstated, and a new spin and an additional Reformer class have been added. Board President Mario Carmiciano addresses resident’s question Also, per resident requests, an evening yoga class will be tested. Goldstein urged everyone to try out the gym’s new elliptical machine, but to enlist the aid of an instructor before doing so. Meanwhile the long-awaited outdoor pool renovation is set to begin immediately with Phase 1. The concrete surrounding the pool will be torn up, the pipes replaced, and repairs and marble dusting to the interior will proceed with an anticipated completion before the 2017 season begins. Next fall’s Phase 2 will see an expansion of the seating area on the golf course side of the pool, among other enhancements. “We are in a healthy condition,” said Treasurer Steve Redlich, concerning the co-op’s financial status. The mild winter of 2016, coupled with the efficacy of NST’s new generators have resulted in an anticipated $2 million surplus. Redlich later returned to the podium as the Country Club Chair to report recent overcrowding and drop in service in the VIP Room during meals. Since the inception of the mandatory membership amendment several years ago, membership has increased by 500. Studies are underway to examine how the VIP Room can be expanded to alleviate the problem. Though Fred Chernow’s green tie was a clear indication of good news for apartment values, the actual extent of such was a great surprise to most members of the audience. Average per share value from the same time a year ago has skyrocketed 62%. Chernow also urged any residents thinking about renovating their apartments to do so, as such improvements contribute exponentially to the value of one’s home. Special Projects and Community Affairs Chair Bob Ricken reported on the success of Photo by Stephen Vrattos the 9-11 Memorial and revived Art Exhibition, for which he thanked the efforts of Committee Members Julie Weissman, Kandy Diamond and Karen Perry, who, in addition to their tireless work in organizing the event, personally went to each exhibitor’s apartment to assist in the safe transportation of their artwork to the show site. Bob also announced the reintroduction of the reading of resident letters at Board Meetings and the discussion of term limits, as well as placing conditions on people running for the board, such as having prior service on a Committee. In answer to many residents’ requests, a walking program has been announced. Golfing will be suspended Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings until 9:30 a.m. along the west side of the course, which covers Holes #13–18. Walkers should exit out the back door of Towers Restaurant (Buffy’s) and go right to access the area. Political Action Committee (PAC) Chair Felice Hannah noted her recent admission to Community Board 13 and attendance of members Vicki Mazel and Susan Bartelstone at transportation hearing, which have lead to a re-examination of the dangerous intersection of Little Neck Parkway and Grand Central Parkway South to determine what can be done to make the crossing safer for pedestrians. Hannah asked for greater participation by residents at any future rallys at the site. Hannah and Mazel are working on a Medicare Workshop and organizing a seminar to discuss current issues, as people did “in the good old days,” as Hannah put it, “when people agreed to disagree without being so disagreeable.” She urged residents to vote in the upcoming presidential elections and reminded all that Towers on the Green was the place to do so.
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